Betting Roundup

Almost election-eve, and Simon Jackman posts the latest betting market predictions.

Database last updated at 12:01 November 22 2007 (Sydney time)
Analysis tracks prices offered by three agencies: Centrebet, Portlandbet, Sportingbet
ALP favoured to win in 80 of 150 seats (# seats with average ALP win prob > .5)
ALP Expected Seat Count: 81.33 out of 150 seats. Yesterday: 81.44 out of 150. Computed as the sum of the 3-agency-average seat-by-seat ALP win probabilities.
National Market, 3 agency average probability of Labor win: 0.774 (Yesterday: 0.772)

In other words, if we ran the election four times, Howard would win once, and Rudd would win thrice. The polls are less diffident, with all but Galaxy suggesting a Labor landslide.

On the local races, I couldn’t help smiling at this graph. Check out Lindsay – already more than a 90% chance to fall to Labor – which went a little further into the red yesterday.

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5 Responses to Betting Roundup

  1. Fred Argy says:

    That is helpful, thanks. I would certainly not categorise the polls as suggesting a Labor landslide. Apart from Gallaxy, Morgan last night reported a small Labor lead in the marginals – nothing like a cliffhanger (tonight there will be an update) and the latest speculation (reported on ABC Online) is that Newspoll will also reveal tomorrow a marked narrowing of the margin between the two parties in the marginals, pointing to a likely cliffhanger. The only landslide is in ACN.

    In other words, three of the four big pollsters are giving Howard about a 50% chance of winning. If it does turn out a cliff hanger or Howard just scrambles in, the pollsters will be mostly right and the betting markets will be wrong.

    On the other hand, if Rudd wins with a large majority, three of the four pollsters and the betting markets will all be proved wrong.

    A very confusing story!

  2. Fred Argy says:

    Correction – “nothing like a cliffhanger” in line 3 should read “nothing like a landslide”Sorry, the third line should

  3. Guy says:

    I’m inclined to be sceptical and agree with Fred here. I am currently not entirely convinced that Labor will get the swing it needs in the seats it needs to win government.

    I hope to be convinced tomorrow morning London time. 🙂

  4. Fred Argy says:

    Andrew, as you know, despite your impressive evidence to the contrary, I have been very sceptical of the view that betting markets (at least in Australia) are better at picking the winners than opinion polls. This is partly because of distortions in the market (e.g. big betters not necessarily backing the team they intend to vote for e.g. a businessman who fears Labor will hurt his financial bottom line could put a big bet on Rudd as a form of insurance) and partly because of the acute sensitivity of betting markets to movements in opinion polls. On the latter point, we saw marked evidence of that yesterday. At 4 pm Centerbet had the Coalition at 4.50. With the Newspoll out at 4pm. we saw the betting odds drop 3.50 within thirteen hours – a remarkably rapid adjustment.

    Given the extreme volatility in both polls and betting markets, how will you be able to assess the predictive superiority of betting markets? Are you going to look at the average of the past few weeks or the Wednesday situation or the situation early this morning?

  5. Guy says:

    I can’t recall the last time I was so happy to be wrong. 🙂

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